Viewing cable 09SANTIAGO130
Title: WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR- CHILE'S DIGITAL TV DELAY

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09SANTIAGO1302009-02-11 21:53:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Santiago
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DE RUEHSG #0130 0422153
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O 112153Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4427
UNCLAS SANTIAGO 000130 
 
STATE FOR EEB/CIP 
 
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E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON EINV PREL ECPS ITU OVIP TSPL TINT CI
 
SUBJECT: WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR- CHILE'S DIGITAL TV DELAY 
 
¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Despite lengthy studies and a draft law on the 
regulatory framework of digital TV, Chile does not/not appear close 
to selecting a digital TV standard in 2009.  Government and industry 
contacts agree the Bachelet administration will put off the 
decision, leaving it for a future government.  The North American 
ATSC standard can still win, but the industry will need to be 
patient as Chile takes its time entering the world of digital TV. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. (SBU) In May 2008, the Ministry of Transportation and 
Telecommunications (MTT) announced it would conduct additional 
analysis of the ATSC, ISDB, DVB-T, and SBTVD (aka ISDB-TB) standards 
before selecting Chile's standard.  Cristian Nunez, Chief of 
Regulation Policy and Studies in the Undersecretary of 
Telecommunications, told EPoloff the ministry completed its 
analysis, but the decision about the standard remains pending for 
"political reasons."  Industry experts told EPoloff the government 
will not/not make a choice because it fears the issue could become 
another "Transantiago"- the poorly implemented, highly criticized 
public transportation system.  The government would rather leave the 
decision for the next administration than risk being blamed for 
another public service disaster. 
 
¶3. (SBU) MTT and industry contacts report the ATSC remains a 
competitive option in Chile.  Concerns about mobility have been 
allayed, and the recent conversion delay in the U.S. is not 
associated with the technology at all.  In the long run, Nunez 
believes the formats will converge, reducing the importance of 
choosing a standard. 
 
¶4. (SBU) The government is taking action to advance the regulatory 
framework of digital TV.  A draft law submitted to Congress in 
December 2008 proposes mechanisms to handle spectrum concessions and 
outlines the conversion process to digital TV, calling for complete 
conversion in 8 years.  The draft law does not/not favor any 
particular standard, and the MTT said it was written to accommodate 
whatever standard the government eventually selects. 
 
¶5. (SBU) COMMENT: Unanimous feedback from various contacts confirms 
that little progress should be expected on Chile's digital TV 
standard in 2009, an election year.  Beyond 2009, it's much too 
early to know which standard the next government will select. END 
COMMENT 
SIMONS